As usual, I am way behind, but these are important questions and I feel the need to answer them. For Week 5, Raili’s theme is friendship with the Self. She gives us the following questions to consider:
How do you show yourself that you’re friends? Where in your mud map do you sit? Are you a special friend? Have you ever given yourself a gift? Is there something unique about your friendship with yourself?
I haven’t always been friends with myself. In fact, I’ve often been my own worst enemy. At times, I still am. This is part of my mental illness and I have to work extra hard to keep my demons at bay with meditation, affirmations and mindfulness. Some days I succeed and other days I don’t. It is a constant battle, but it is one that I am willing to keep fighting.
When I am friends with myself, I tell myself loving and kind things. I allow the beauty of the world around me to influence my actions. I absorb love and I give out love – like breathing. In my mud map, I am the center of my universe. This isn’t always a good place to be, as I can become quite selfish at times with others around me. However, as one who has been a people-pleaser for the majority of my life, it is also an important place for me to be. It reminds me that the only way I can be of service to others is to first take care of myself.
I love the next question – am I a special friend? This one gave me quite a chuckle. I really don’t know why my initial reaction was to laugh, but I did. Oh yes, I am special alright! Touched in the head. Crazy. A bit ‘out there’ in the grand scheme of things. I guess that was my first reaction to the question. But silliness aside, I do have a special relationship with myself. I am a quiet and reserved person most of the time. I am also an intellectual snob. I love that I get intellectual jokes and have a good chuckle with myself over them. I ‘get’ me more than anyone else ever has. And since I am an introvert and live in my head most of the time, it is hard to explain things to others about myself. So having myself as a special friend allows me an outlet that many extroverted people may not have or understand because they look for others to validate them and I validate myself (though not always in a good way *sighs*).
Ah, this question about gifting again… Generally, I gift to myself more often than I accept gifts from others. Most people have no idea or refuse to take the time to even know what to give me. I tell them, but they don’t listen. It can’t really be that simple, right? Books, candles, journals, pens, cheap beaded bracelets, anything strange or macabre, crystals, anything dealing with ravens, etc. These are really truly the things that I love. Why is that so hard for people to understand? So yes, when there is something that I find that I know I will love, I buy it for myself as a gift. Better to buy for me than sit and ponder over something I dislike that someone else has bought me and wonder why the hell they thought I would like it.
The last question is probably the hardest – is there something unique about my friendship with myself? Honestly, I don’t know. I am such a strange duck anyway – weird, nerdy, geeky, eccentric, odd… it’s probably hard for others to even understand me, and thus hard to friend me. If I didn’t have myself as a friend, I’d probably have even less friends than I do have. I just enjoy my own company. I make myself laugh and cry. I know what I like and don’t like and I don’t have to be pretentious with myself. It’s probably the most honest relationship I’ve ever had with anyone. If that makes it a unique one, then so be it.